Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fallen From Grace

Arahpot, Pennsylvania, the setting for J. R. Lindermuth's book, Fallen From Grace, is a peaceful town in the early 1900's. Far removed from the wild, wild west Arahpot is civilized and up to date in all the newfangled  amenities like a telegraph office. Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman has little to occupy his time except drive around in his spanking new Sears and Roebuck buggy and wonder if his lovely Lydia will finally accept his proposal of marriage or, more importantly, if she will invite him to supper. That is - until a teamster delivers a badly wounded man to Doc Mariner's door. It turns out to be murder. 

Who was this man and what connection, if any, did he have with the newly arrived Delbert family? During the course of the investigation the suspicious Valentine Delbert drops dead of - natural causes? That remains to be seen. Did the beautiful new wife poison her obese husband? And what was going on with the girls that worked at Matilda's boarding house? Were they just house maids, with the occasional entertainment assignment, or innocent bystanders?

'Rubbing salt in a raw wound' as Sheriff Tilghman would no doubt say was the appearance of the lovely Lydia's charming cousin, Cyrus Gutshall. Lydia is determined that he will make the ideal deputy for the sheriff and Tilghman is just as determined to stay far away from the obnoxious interloper. But when Tilghman's life is on the line will Gutshall help or hinder?

Fallen from Grace is a delightfully easy read with fascinating characters and a true sense of place. It is also a good mystery with plenty of suspects and enough twists in the plot to offset its leisurely pace. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Learn more about J. R. Lindermuth at Village of Mystery

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Uncertain Refuge

 Carolyn J. Rose is a brilliant author. In her latest book, An Uncertain Refuge, she strums tension as taunt as a tight-rope walker's wire, leaving the reader ready to gasp at every misstep.

   An Uncertain Refuge  is not your traditional mystery, it is more a statement on the horrific and tragic lineage of domestic violence. It is, at times, a painful book to read. Kate Dalton, her own childhood marred by a different sort of trauma, is caught in a web of incontrovertible revenge as she strives to shield the child, Way-Ray, from the raw abuse and terror his mother endured. It is a story of courageous love and bitter hatred. The characters clearly crafted from the handicapped, alcoholic handyman, the compassionate motel maid, to the strange old woman who cares for wounded animals.

It is a book hard to put down, especially when dreaded events occur and the human master of violence unleashes its wrath.  It is also a book that will, for a long time, haunt your memory. 


Village of Mystery

Monday, June 6, 2011

Old Loves Die Hard

On the day of his divorce retired homicide detective, Mac  Faraday, learned  he had inherited a multi-million dollar estate from his famous birth mother.  He was just settling into his new lifestyle when his ex-wife knocked on the door of the mansion begging him to take her back.   Faraday soon discovered that Old Loves Die Hard when Christine, the ex, and her lover, were both found brutally murdered in Faraday’s private penthouse suite.The main suspect?  Mac Faraday. 
In this second book of the series, continuing from, It’s Murder My Son, Lauren Carr weaves a tight and challenging tale of Washington DC politics, less than scrupulous attorneys, court judges, and an intrigue of justice served that has the reader engaged in guessing games.  Murderers had escaped punishment, only to become victims. Who killed them – and why was Christine involved?  Or was she? Who was Nita, the mysterious Spanish speaking maid?  No one is above suspicion.  It takes everyone, Mac, his secretary Archie, his half-brother David and even Gnarly the kleptomaniac German shepherd to fit together the pieces of this puzzle.